CAMH Achieves Highest Standing for its EMR – HIMSS Stage 7

August 03, 2017

​The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has become the first Academic Health Science Centre and second hospital ever in Canada to be awarded the highest international rating for its electronic medical record.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), a non-profit organization that assesses the effectiveness of hospital Information Technology systems around the world, has given CAMH a Stage 7 designation - the highest possible rating.  Stage 7 represents a near paperless clinical environment with technology that supports optimized patient care.

Until today there were only approximately 300 hospitals with the Stage 7 designation, representing less than 5% of hospitals world-wide. 

"We take great pride in being a global leader in healthcare information technology," said CAMH President and CEO Catherine Zahn.  "As a hospital that delivers care to patients with highly acute and complex conditions, it is vitally important that all our clinical staff have medical records at their disposal at all times.  Better, faster and easier access to information means better patient care."

CAMH has transformed its clinical practice through the use of technology by launching a new electronic medical record called I-CARE, implementing protocols for computer-assisted medication administration and introducing electronic whiteboards to provide timely and most relevant information for patient care.

"Achieving Stage 7 marks our commitment to leveraging technology and data to achieve the highest quality and safest care for our patients," says Damian Jankowicz, VP, Information Management at CAMH.

As part of the Stage 7 validation, the HIMSS team visited a number of inpatient units and departments to view firsthand how CAMH clinicians use the electronic medical record to support patient care.  "The key question posed by HIMSS was about the impact our IT transformation had on client care," says Senior Portfolio Manager Heather Sulkers.  "We were not only able to demonstrate tremendous reduction in potential medication errors but also many other ways our enhancements to electronic medical record keeping are helping produce better outcomes for the wide variety of illnesses we treat at CAMH."

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